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Posts tagged: Coeur d'Alene recall

McCrory Unhappy With Press Editorial

I'm still trying to figure out the contempt that OpenCDA-dot-Com has for the Coeur d'Alene Press. I thought the Press played things as close to the middle as possible during the failed recall attempt. But Bill McCrory takes after the Press again this week for the Sunday editorial (“Clarify rules for recall”) advocating clarification of state recall laws (which you'd think OpenCDA-dot-Com would endorse). Instead, McCrory lambastes the Press (“the propaganda machine of Hagadone Corporation”) for being, ahem, MIA during the “the illegal conduct of the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election.” Mr. Bill wonders where the Press was in the 2009 election (which survived legal review) and then answers his own question: “Hiding under the beds with some District Court judges, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Kootenai County Clerk Dan English and Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh who did not want anyone understanding  just how FUBAR Idaho’s election administration laws were.  Today, those same laws are SUSFU.  And that’s exactly the way the aforementioned Press and officials like them.” McCrory claims the Press editorial is particularly “insidious” because “it wants to amend Idaho’s Constitution and statutes to limit the people’s ability to recall elected officials.” You can read the whole rant here.

Question: Would you like to see Idaho recall laws loosened to make it easier to recall elected officials?

Huckleberries Hears …

… That there were six “Golden Clipboards” handed out by the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers to individuals who went above & beyond in collecting signatures for the Coeur d'Alene recall effort. During a BBQ attended by about 65 people acknowledging the near miss, Mary Souza & Co. handed out the “highly admired Golden Clipboard” awards to “our most tenacious, consistent volunteers:  Hank Poole, Linda Wolovich, Jerry Petersen, Carol Carey,  Sharon Culbreth and Jay Anderson.” This, according to an email that Mary circulated to recall supporters after the BBQ. Wrote she: “We may not have won the prize of a vote on the 4 recall officials, but we won in many significant ways:  We learned a great deal about ourselves, our strength and our role as citizens.  And we met some of the best people in the CdA area in our Recall team members and the courageous citizens who signed the petitions.”

Question: Do you think the Recallers will try again in September?

Letter: I Did Not Sign Recall Petition

After returning to Coeur d’Alene on June 28, I was informed that my name was included on the Recall Petition and was rejected because of incorrect information. I have been out of the country for two years and did not sign or authorize anyone to do so. Someone fraudulently signed my name to the Coeur d’Alene Recall Petition/Kristin Odenthal, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor/Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: What do you think happened here?

Orzell Wants Rejects To Fix Vote Info

Recall organizer Frank Orzell, pictured, isn’t done after all. Relax: He’s just asking the newspaper to perform a public service. Orzell compiled a list from Kootenai County Elections Department data of nearly 370 people who signed recall petitions against four city incumbents, but whose signatures were thrown out because of various registration issues. The list doesn’t include any signers who were rejected because they were not qualified Coeur d’Alene voters, which was a requirement of the recall petition drive. It essentially identifies voters whose registration information on the petition form isn’t consistent with the information on the voter information system (ISVRS) maintained by the Secretary of State. “They show up on the reject list,” Orzell said. “That’s it”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: And you thought Orzell's 15 minutes of local fame were over?

Recall Verification Count Cost: $6750

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes released the costs of verifying the signatures on four recall petitions for the City of Coeur d’Alene.  “We’ve had several requests for the cost information,” Hayes said.  “The total is approximately $6,750, all of which is for wages.  This does not include 180 hours of time by the Clerk, Chief Deputy Clerk and the Elections Manager, who are salaried employees,” Hayes noted. All permanent Elections staff members worked on the recall verification task, plus two County employees loaned from the Auditor’s department.  In addition, several temporary workers who had previously worked on Elections tasks joined the project, and one Saturday, five additional temporary workers helped out. “Most days the crew worked 10 or 11 hours, so there were several hundred hours involved, including some overtime,” said Hayes/Kootenai County Clerk's Office press release. More below.

Question: Do you consider the cost to verify recall petitions too much/too little/just right?

Mary Hinting At Another Recall Try?

In her latest newsletter, recall organizer Mary Souza sounds the same theme provided by Councilman Dan Gookin on Tuesday: “It's over.” Although she and other recallers continue to scrutinize the signatures on recall petitions, Mary says, “Let's hope the four officials we tried to recall will get the message; let's hope they change their ways. And if they don't? … we have a data tase of 4100 valid, certified people and about 300 more who just need updated registration cards.” Then Mary hints darkly that another recall could be in order this fall: “The law says there must be a 90 day waiting period before any further action can be started.  That’s late September.  Let’s keep watching them and stay tuned.” Mary Souza's latest newsletter here.

DFO: Mary & the Recallers would have to wait until mid-September to launch a second recall drive. Which would take 75 days again, taking us through November. At that point, if the petition drive was successful, City Clerk Susan Weathers could set one of the next four election dates for the recall election, including the day of the municipal election the following November. Which would make the whole exercise in divisiveness moot.

Question: Could Mary Souza possibly be hinting at another recall petition drive this year?

RRepublicans Lament Recall Failure

From Jeff Ward's latest Kootenai Weekly Conservative newsletter: “It appears that summer has finally made it to North Idaho. Being in one of the more glorious places to spend a summer makes keeping our minds on the work of politics much more difficult.  I catch myself staring out my window at the sunlit tableau of blue sky and green trees and not want to work or even write this column. There is a lot for us to do but the allure of the mountains, the lakes, and the sun can be distracting. 2012 may be the most important election of our life times and Republicans must work now to prepare for the battle this fall.  Please do not buy into the conventional wisdom that says that the election is already over in Idaho. We may have been highly successful in the May Primary. Many of us are quite disappointed that we do not have a recall campaign to wage in August or November.  But the election battle for Reagan Republicans is far from over”/Jeff Ward, Reagan Republicans. More here.

Thoughts?

SR: Rightly, Lake City Recall Fails

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and City Council members Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers will be keeping their seats until the next general election, a fact their constituents should stand up and applaud. Foes of the foursome failed to get the 4,300 signatures that would have put a recall measure before city voters on any of four dates prior to the next municipal election. Although they submitted what would normally be a comfortable surplus of signer ink, their effort failed when about 23 percent of the signatures were ruled invalid. The sad fact is many a passer-by is only too happy to scrawl their names on a petition, but heaven forbid they make the effort to register to vote. They might – OMG! – have to get out of their cars. But the bigger challenge was convincing a community that has come so far over the last 10 years that the individuals responsible for helping make it happen should be ousted for continuing to do what they have done so well: make Coeur d’Alene a small city with enviable business, residential, recreational and education resources/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press file photo of Jennifer Drake, right, and Michael Sheneman outside City Hall April 5)

Thoughts?

Hayes Offers Link To Rejected Names

Kootenai County has posted reports showing accepted and rejected signers of recall petitions for three Coeur d’Alene City Council members and for the Mayor on its website.  (Go to the Elections homepage, Department Links, Recall Verification Reports; or click http://www.kcgov.us/elections/recallresults.asp) The reports show accepted signers first, then rejected signers.  Both groups are sorted by precinct and then in alphabetical order by last name. “Searchers can save lots of time by using the ‘Find’ box in the upper right corner of the task bar,” said County Clerk Cliff Hayes.  “Type last name first for the fastest results,” he continued.  (If there is no “Find” box already showing on your toolbar, click Edit, then Find and one will appear.) The rejected listings note whether the rejection was for an invalid address or an invalid signature.  A “not valid” rejection means signers who signed a petition on a date earlier than their voter registration information was accepted/Kootenai County clerk news release. More here.

Thoughts?

Final Signature Count Changes Slightly

The petitions with the certified signatures have been scanned and can be accessed through the following link:  ftp://ftp.cdaid.org/RecallPetition/Recall_Petitions-Verified.zip, according to City Clerk Susan Weathers. Through the scanning process it was discovered that 3 petitions for Mayor Bloem and Councilman Goodlander were incorrectly placed in the certified boxes as received from the County. … The end result is that Mayor Bloem’s final count is 6 signatures less than original reported for a corrected total of 4,120 signatures and Councilman Goodlander’s final count is 6 signatures more than originally reported for a corrected total of 4,079. These corrected totals do not affect the final disposition of the petitions.

Question: Are you satisfied that the offices of City Clerk Susan Weathers and County Clerk Cliff Hayes did the best job possible in handling and/or verifying the Recaller petitions?

D2Sign Moms Face Frank Orzell

Jennifer Drake, center, and Sara Meyer, a supporter of Decline to Sign, and Frank Orzell, a supporter of Recall CDA, discuss events leading up to an announcement Monday, June 18, 2012, at city hall in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, that there will be no recall on upcoming ballots. Kootenai County election officials ruled Monday that recall organizers failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election. (Gabe Green Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

Remember how this all started?

DFO: I watched and listened to this encounter. Sara had just told Frank Orzell that she was disappointed that he'd gone submitted petitions circulated by Rod Bitterman, who was later investigated for providing incorrect information in gathering signatures. Sara concluded that it was time for both groups to move on. I tip my cap to Orzell that he was willing to face the music re: the failure of the recall when no other Recaller did.

Recall Fails; Orzell: No Litigation

Item: Recall effort fails: RecallCdA organizer Frank Orzell has no plans to pursue litigation/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

Mayor Sandi Bloem: “This isn't a victory celebration … It's difficult it happened. I think anyone can say it's been difficult and tough, no matter what your view is on the recall. One has to look at what has happened and say, 'What have we learned from this? What is positive out of this?' And I do think there are some positives. One is, I think a lot more people were engaged and tried to know the facts and tried to know what's going on and listening to both sides and getting involved. And particularly with younger people, I saw. And the community needs that. In order to be more healthy, we need to be more engaged.”

Question: What do you see as the silver lining to the recall attempt?

City Clerk: Recall Drive Has Failed

Just returned from City Hall, where City Clerk Susan Weathers declared all the petition drive to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members “null & void ab initio.” In other words, the recall effort has failed. Recaller Frank Orzell was in the audience when Weathers read the total number of valid signatures for each of the 4 drives, with 4,311 signatures needed to trigger a recall. Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander was the first petition to be declared null and void. Goodlander had 4,073 valid signatures. Next was Councilman Mike Kennedy with 4,077 valid signatures. Then, Councilman Woody McEvers with 4,060 valid signatures. Finally, Weathers declared the petitions for Mayor Sandi Bloem null & void with 4,126 valid signatures. Weathers concluded: “As city clerk for the city of Coeur d'Alene, I now declare this Coeur d'Alene recall process to be closed.” Some 25 individuals who fought the recall cheered the announcement. Orzell was the only Recaller that I saw in the old City Council chamber. Afterward, Sara Meyer of the Decline to Sign group said to Orzell: “I hope you want to come together as a community and move forward in a positive way,” adding, “No lawsuits.”

Thoughts?

My 2 Cents: It Ain’t Over

State Rep. Kathy Sims is shown at her station across from Sherman Hardware, trying to attract signatures for her recall petitions.

Even if City Clerk Susan Weathers declares the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt a failure (void ab initio) at 4:30 p.m. today, the attempted takeover of City Hall ain't over. I doubt that the Souza-Orzell-Sims would waste the time and energy to launch another recall against the same officials in three months. But I suspect to see a lawsuit of some sort surface in the next few days, challenging disqualified ballots and maybe seeking an injunction against an upgrade to McEuen Field. Beyond that, the Recallers will spin the results of their failure and go back to work networking with the Tea Party & Reagan Republicans to target the 2013 city elections. Good city elected officials like Mayor Sandi Bloem and the three targeted for recall will remain vulnerable to this organized and vocal minority if the individuals who made the Decline to Sign movement successful lose focus. The 75-day recall attempt is just the beginning. The future is still up for grabs between those who applaud the upgrades along the waterfront and those who have opposed many of those projects, including state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, who supported the suit to stop the North Idaho College Foundation purchase of the Education Corridor. (BTW, NIC Trustee Christie Wood responded to all of Sims' claims in the link above here.) The first referendum on the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt isn't in November 2013. It is this November when Sims, an outspoken supporter of the recall effort, faces Democrat Anne Nesse in an attempt to win re-election to her House seat. Sims has an advantage in that she's a Republican in an area that votes knee-jerk Republican. A poor showing or even the defeat of Kathy Sims would serve to be a harbinger of the 2013 city elections — DFO.

Correction: Rep. Kathy Sims supported the lawsuit to stop the purchase of the old mill site for an Education Corridor that was filed by Larry Spencer, Tom Macy and Bill McCrory.

Extra! Final Rejecton Rate 23%

From news release provided moments ago by Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes: “Today Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced the completion of signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions.  'We’ve completed 100% of the petition verifications.  The final reject rate is approximately 23% for all three Council members and for the Mayor,' Hayes said. 'We will deliver the petitions back to the City of Coeur d’Alene this afternoon,' Hayes concluded.” At the rate of 23 percent disqualification, the final signature totals should be close to the following:

  • Mayor Sandi Bloem (with 5384 signatures against her): 4146, or 165 signatures short
  • Councilman Mike Kennedy (with 5327 signatures against him): 4102, or 209 signatures short
  • Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (with 5314 against her): 4092, or 219 signatures short
  • Councilman Woody McEvers (with 5267 signatures against him): 4056, or 255 signatures short

Thoughts?

Extra! Recall Announcement Today

City Clerk Susan Weathers, pictured, informed HucksOnline moments ago that she will announce the outcome of the Recall attempt against Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members (Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers & Mike Kennedy) at 4:30 p.m. today. Weathers said she will receive the petitions from County Clerk Cliff Hayes at 2 p.m. She'll then count the petitions and decide whether the recall effort has been perfected (succeeded) or has failed (in void ab initio = “to be treated as invalid from the outset”). Weathers told HBO that there is no reason to wait until the official 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline to release the numbers since the counting is all but finished. Entering today, County Clerk Cliff Hayes Election Staff and hired extra help had checked 98% of the approximate 5300 signatures collected by organizers Mary Souza, Frank Orzell, Kathy Sims and supporters. Twenty-four percent have been disqualified, leaving the recall effort short by several hundred for all four targeted officials. There were approximately 110 signatures left to be counted today. At the current disqualification rate of 24 percent, the final total of valid signatures would be as follows for all four targeted officials:

  • Mayor Sandi Bloem (with 5384 signatures against her): 4092
  • Councilman Mike Kennedy (with 5327 signatures against him): 4049
  • Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (with 5314 against her): 4039
  • Councilman Woody McEvers (with 5267 signatures against him): 4003

Thoughts?

MikeK: To UnFriend Or Not To Unfriend

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy drives Hard Right Republicans in Kootenai County cuh-razy. Kennedy has committed the unpardonable sin of being a Democrat in a nonpartisan office in licorice-red North Idaho. In 2009, Kennedy squeaked past Republican-backed Jim Brannon by five votes – and then withstood a lengthy legal challenge to win by three votes. Now, he’s one of the four city elected officials targeted for recall by organizers tied to the county Republican Party. Kennedy has handled much of the partisan hatred with his humor intact. On his Facebook wall last week he wondered about social media etiquette during a recall attempt. He knows, for example, he has befriended, hired or helped the children of some of the individuals who have signed petitions for his recall (which are public). Facebooked Mike, tongue firmly cheeked: “Should you unfriend them on Facebook? How else do you handle it?” Maybe Facebook should install a dislike button?/DFO, Huckleberries. More here.

Question: What type of “Facebook Friends” do you unfriend?

Recall Attempt Failing: 24% DQs

The attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members apparently has failed. With 98 percent of the signatures on recall petitions verified, County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced this afternoon that 24 percent of the signatures had been disqualified. A 20 percent disqualification rate was needed for Bloem & and three council members (Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy) to survive the recall attempt. This is Hayes' press release: “This afternoon Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced further progress on signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions.  “We’ve completed verification and checking on approximately 98% of the petitions.  The cumulative reject rate is now running approximately 24% for the three Council members and for the Mayor,” Hayes said. “We will finish the verifications on Monday and forward them to the City of Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday,” Hayes concluded. 4311 valid signatures are needed to trigger a recall election against the four targeted elected officials. At 24 percent, the final total would be as follows:

  • Mayor Sandi Bloem (with 5384 signatures against her): 4092
  • Councilman Mike Kennedy (with 5327 signatures against him): 4049
  • Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (with 5314 against her): 4039
  • Councilman Woody McEvers (with 5267 signatures against him): 4003

Thoughts?

Gookin State Of Union To Pachyderms

At the Pachyderm Club meeting this morning, Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin complained that the “Council Member Information Packet” he's holding is inadequate.  He also was not happy with the agreement the council wanted him to sign as a member of the City Council which can roughly be described as an agreement to cooperate.  Gookin refused to sign.

This morning Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin spoke to the North Idaho Pachyderm Club which is a local Republican organization.  Following are some quotes from his talk (according to an embedded Berry Picker):

  • Gookin commenting generally about the City of Coeur d'Alene:  “Like Congress, the City doesn't necessarily have to follow their own rules.”
  • Gookin in reference to Councilman Mike Kennedy:  “Last Council meeting Mr. Kennedy berated me.”  Kennedy said, “there are no secret meetings.”
  • Gookin speaking of the City's view of LCDC:  “They do not levy taxes, they impact them.
  • Gookin speaking of the City:  “They can use urban renewal as a bank of convenience.”
  • Gookin, in reference to certain members of the City Council who make up the majority:  “Those four that, you know, are being recalled … they are not listening to the public and they don’t understand that … umm … this is a tremendous burden” (from a tape recording).
  • More below

Breaking! Rejection Rate Now 20%

This morning Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced further progress on signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions.  “We’ve completed verification and checking on approximately 40% of the petitions.  The cumulative reject rate is now running about 20% for the three Council members and for the Mayor,” Hayes said. At the 20% disqualification rate, the targeted elected officials would have the following number of valid signatures against them — and would survive the recall election (4311 needed for recall election):

  • Mayor Sandi Bloem (with 5384 signatures on petitions): 4307
  • Councilman Mike Kennedy (with 5327): 4261
  • Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (with 5314): 4251
  • Councilman Woody McEvers (with 5267): 4214

Thoughts?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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